Always Sad to Shut the Pond Down

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Jim Cumming
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 3:59 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Always Sad to Shut the Pond Down

Post by Jim Cumming » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:24 pm

I live in Canada (a COLD part of Canada). At this time of year, we're getting those cool nights, followed by 'not so warm' days. The water temperatures are dropping and despite the increase in dissolved oxygen, the fish are starting to become lethargic and are not as interested in feeding ... unless your a goldfish. They're having great fun out there these days. But not so much my tropical cichlids. The water temperature in the big pond is still marginally okay for them (~18-20 oC) but a few degrees cooler, and ... I checked the temperatures outside on Sunday evening after the ASW meeting. The air temperature was 15.3C (59.5F). The large pond was 20.3C (68.5F) and contains 'beani', 'rivulatus', 'hartwegi', 'breidohri', 'dimerus' and Red Ceibals along with a few native species from Florida. The small pond (100G stock trough) was 13.3C (56.0F) and contains many small 'dimerus' (a Uruguayan cichlasoma) and a few 'breidohri'. I put a 300W heater in there and the water temperatures have gone up into the low 20s. I have a bit of a problem. The tanks I was going to house the pond fish in are presently occupied by other inhabitants. A little problem solving will be in order, especially in housing the 8 'beani' ranging in size from 5 - 9", and the large 'rivulatus pair. I also expect to find Ceibal and GT fry (and I hope 'beani') out there. I took a few pictures of the pond today and 'on the surface of it' (no pun intended) all looks well. Here are a handful of pictures taken today. But it's what's going on underneath that counts. So I'll be setting up for the pond shutdown this week, when the big pond hits 14-15 C. The fish can take it since the changes are very gradual. Three years ago, I pulled out a 12" pleco on November 1st. The water temperature was 3 C. And once it thawed out :shock: , it was fine.
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Cichlasoma dimerus in the stock trough
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein

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Jim Cumming
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 3:59 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Post by Jim Cumming » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:14 pm

A couple of nights ago, the weather forecast predicted a low of ~38-40 F. I was concerned that my little 2" Cichlasoma dimerus, outside in the 100G Little Giant stock trough would end up as fish 'popsicles by morning. So I put a 300W heater in there, full on. At that time, the water temperature was 55 F. The next morning (Wednesday) I checked the temperature and it was about 72 F ... much better. Figuring that the temperature would stabilize (heat lost = heat gained) at around the middle to high 70s, I left the heater in there. One thing I didn't check on was the low last night wasn't going to be really very low. I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, realizing that I might be "cooking" fish stew outside (heat lost << heat gained). I rushed out at 3:30 am with my flashlight, and put my hand into the trough. It felt like bathwater. Needless to say, I pulled the plug on the heater and shone the flashlight in, looking for fish corpses. What I saw were some very startled and ACTIVE babies. The next morning, I checked the temperature in there, and it was 80 F. I figure that the water must have been at least in the 88-92 F range. So for tonight I put in a 100W heater. I think the fish are going to be more comfortable, and as well, I'll be getting a better night's sleep.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein

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Jim Cumming
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 3:59 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Always Sad to Shut the Pond Down

Post by Jim Cumming » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:41 pm

Well. phase 1 is about done. I caught the fish in the 100G stock trough and emptied it. I'll be getting it set up to house some of the larger pond fish from the big pond along with a number of other tanks that I'm setting up for next weeks exodus. It turns out that there were about 80 Cichlasoma dimerus at 1.5-2" and maybe 5 or 6 Paraneetroplus breidohri, about 2". They pretty much doubled their size from when I put them in at the beginning of June. They are so-o-o-o colorful for immature little 'guys' but it always seems that way. Here's a pic of them as I netted them out.
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"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein

Texascichlid
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:15 am

Re: Always Sad to Shut the Pond Down

Post by Texascichlid » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:23 am

I really enjoy your photos and your posts.

I was just curious, when you bring in your fish do you perform any type of treatment for parasites they might have picked up? Thanks

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Jim Cumming
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Always Sad to Shut the Pond Down

Post by Jim Cumming » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:27 pm

Thanks. No, I don't do anything special.Once moved, the pond fish are kept isolated from the rest of my fish, but that's only because I have certain tanks set aside for them. In the past, I've not had trouble with outbreaks of any sort, but I do keep an eye open for problems. If I did see something, I would treat accordingly.
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".
- Albert Einstein

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